This Maryland Wedding Melded East and West Coast Style
Alex Scott proposed to Lauren Tarola on a Memorial Day-weekend vacation to Turks and Caicos. Alex grabbed a bottle of Champagne at the airport's duty-free store (just because, he told Lauren), then checked into the hotel and whisked Lauren to the beach for a picnic—Champagne and his backpack, packed with a camera, in hand. When another couple walked past the setup, Alex took out the camera and asked them to take a picture, sneaking the ring he'd hidden in the backpack into a shot and surprising Lauren by getting on one knee. "I was in awe of the fact that he had brought the ring on the plane, planned it out, and left a bit of spontaneity in the equation," says Lauren of the surprise proposal, adding that "our impromptu photographers [were] great, and they kept the moment personal and sweet."
Just five short months later, the couple asked 150 guests to join them in Easton, Maryland, for their wedding at Kirkland Manor. Lauren describes the day as "a beautiful, surreal celebration with our closest family and friends that just felt like 'us'" in every possible way. The couple calls New York City home, but because Lauren grew up in Baltimore, she has an affinity for Maryland's waterways. And with Kirkland Manor's stunning river views, it was an obvious and easy choice for the couple, who envisioned their wedding day and its theme as "Eastern-shore classic meets California beauty and energy."
To bring that vision to life, Lauren and Alex worked with Shannon Leahy to create a soft green-and-peach color palette—the perfect hues for an easy-breezy fête by the water. "Everything came together and felt ethereal, beautiful, and comfortable," Lauren says.
The Engagement Ring
Not only was Lauren's proposal a surprise, but her engagement ring was, too. "The only ring direction I ever gave Alex was [to get a] simple and skinny band," Lauren says, "and he nailed it." The ring featured a round-cut diamond and a delicate band encrusted with pavé-style stones.
The couple's invitations—created by Aerialist Press—were tied with ribbon and mailed with floral stamps that matched their color palette of soft green, peach, and cream.
"Kirkland Manor was just the epitome of Eastern shore living," says Lauren of the couple's decision to host their wedding at the private estate, which boasts views of the Miles River. Lauren also loved the venue's large green lawn, where "I could just picture myself walking down with my dad by my side to marry Alex," she says.
With just five months to find, buy, and alter a wedding dress, Lauren knew she wouldn't be able to try on dozens of gowns. "But it worked well," she says, "because I really wanted a simple, elegant dress," and the Suzanne Neville dress she selected "totally embodies that," Lauren says. "I loved the clean lines, deep V in the front and back, and the little lace detail at the bodice."
Alex donned a black J. Crew tuxedo that was conveniently already in his closet.
Lauren chose two styles of sea glass-colored Jenny Yoo gowns for her six bridesmaids.
Alex's groomsmen followed his lead, dressing in matching black tuxedos for the big day.
After buying her flower girls' all-white dresses on Etsy, Lauren purchased green ribbon to use as sashes, giving the garments a pop of color.
On the wedding day, it poured rain, Lauren says. (Luckily, the showers cleared in time for the ceremony.) "We got a nor'easter!" Lauren says. "It caused a lot of stress the week of the wedding trying to figure out how to plan ahead, but it worked out perfect in the end."
The couple's 4 p.m. ceremony was held beneath a tent on the manor's lawn. "The ceremony was meant to be outside, but given the weather, we decided to do a tent," Lauren explains. "It worked well and was intimate. It was nice to have everyone gathered in there together."
Lauren and Alex exchanged vows they wrote themselves. "Alex's were incredible and made everyone tear up," Lauren recalls. "We wanted the chance to commit to each other and tell each other how we felt in our own words in front of everyone we loved."
A string trio played during the ceremony and also at the couple's cocktail hour.
Escort cards were tucked into envelopes that matched those from the invitation suites.
Lauren and Alex's wedding reception was also held beneath a tent—as Lauren describes it, "the most amazing and magical tent" ever—on the grounds of the estate.
A mix of table shapes created a dynamic reception landscape; square tables were covered in soft green linens, while rectangular tables were left bare, adorned with a cream runner.
Table numbers were printed in green to match the soft napkins on each table. Gold silverware lent an opulent feel to the otherwise simple place settings.
The centerpieces featured a mix of cream, peach, and pink roses, eucalyptus, and other dainty blooms and greenery.
Rattan lamps hung from the top of the tent, lending a warm, laid-back vibe to the reception. Greenery helped hide the lamps' wires.
Lauren and Alex chose a three-tiered white wedding cake, created by Sugar Bakers; the confection was decorated with fresh flowers and greenery. "The top layer was a special request from my dad," says Lauren. "It's classic to the Eastern shore—Smith Island Cake."
At first, Lauren and Alex couldn't choose a first dance song. "Then, one week before the wedding, we saw A Star is Born and our decision was made for us," Lauren says. "We danced to 'Always Remember Us This Way' by Lady Gaga. We loved the emotion and build in the song—it was just perfect!"
Photography, Sposto Photography
Location, Kirkland Manor
Event planning, Shannon Leahy Event Design and Planning
Catering, Occasions Caterers
Flowers, Bows and Arrows
Officiant, Beginnings and Ends
Stationery, Aerialist Press
Cake, Sugar Bakers
Music, Chesapeake Strings
Bride's gown, Suzanne Neville
Bride's shoes, Stuart Weitzman
Hair and makeup, Adriana Misoul
Bridesmaids' dresses, Jenny Yoo
Groom's suit, J. Crew
Menswear, The Black Tux
Rentals, Tent, and Lighting, Eastern Shore Tents and Events